It is such a pleasure to have this gorgeous author join us today to tell us about how she turned her dream into a reality. Welcome along, CJ :)
Firstly a big thanks to the lovely Melissa for having me as a guest today, it truly is an honour to be here.
Today I wanted to share with you how a dream can become a reality. Writing a post for Melissa’s blog I decided to look back on the past few years from when I decided to ‘Own what I do’ by upping the stakes to write and publish my debut novel. I scrolled through my old blog posts to where it all began. Here is my very first post and the decision I made that would change my life forever.
I am a writer (and yes I have decided to admit the title and claim it with pride) And as writers, so often many of us shy away from the admission and think ourselves not worthy. Like myself, I am what I would call a “Closet Writer” a writer in secrecy in the fear of being judged as strange, or littered with nosey questions. A writer can be many things and do it for many reasons. I know this sounds rather cliché, but I have always, even from a young age, found myself plotting, world building, scheming the majority of the day to the point I fear becoming more and more detached from this world. How then to answer my husbands “Whatch ya thinking about?” question as I day dream in the car, if I was to answer honestly it would no doubt raise an eyebrow and have me committed.
Unless I am a writer, right?
I have now come to a point where I think, what’s stopping me? Why not pursue what makes me happy? What I am truly passionate about. This isn’t just a phase, I have suffered from this brainstorming affliction all of my life to the point where I have so much pent up story lines and characters waiting to burst from my imagination. So where to begin? Let’s remember I am a newbie (Oh how I loathe that word) I have come out of the closet and am embracing my inner writer. Call me mad, but I actually think of the ‘writer’ in me as my alter ego, the thing within me that has the want to express alternative people and places – therefore the creation of my Author name (C.J Duggan) was born. Yep! I have decided I am releasing my inner alter ego on the world, while keeping some mystery. Let’s face it, and here is the clincher – Start small aim big – by doing so I plan to build confidence, technique, experience, time – indeed so much time and energy might be dedicated to keep anonymous or maybe I will want to shout out to the world “Here I am!!… Look at me!! Guess only time will tell?
And time did tell.
Two years on and I am an honest to God Author. Not only is it a dream come true but through a lot of hard work and determination I have created something that not only resinates with me but is also reaching an international audience. Three weeks after its release ‘The Boys of Summer’ broke into the Top 100 Amazon Best Sellers, both in U.S and U.K, it ranked at Number One in Australian iBooks and Number Sixteen in Canadian iBooks. I really wanted to reiterate that nothing great was ever achieved without some form of doubt and insecurity. The road to this point was filled with such moments and I am so thankful for those moments, because it was everything within them that lead me to where I am today.
"Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory."
- Alan Alda
That is such a cool story. Thanks so much for sharing with us, CJ.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit